WOW-WEE! It has literally taken me for-e-ver to finally pick up a Leigh Bardugo book. But I finally did it! I gotta be honest with you, I was never really that interested in the Grishaverse. Strangely, though, I can’t really explain why! These books had never been on my TBR before and I don’t think I’d ever actually read the synopsis of Shadow & Bone before I decided to pick up the box set. I guess I just trusted everyone who was even the littlest bit positive about Leigh and the series? Anyway, here’s my review!
“I know you’re scared. I am, too. But we’re going to do this, and we’re going to be fine. We always are.”
For more of my fangirling over Shadow & Bone, check out my (short) Twitter thread!
As I said before, I don’t think I ever read a synopsis of Shadow & Bone. I’d just heard people really liked it and it seemed really popular! Then last year these new editions came out in a box set and I just had to get it and finally see what it was all about. I finished this book in three days, which really says a lot as I was busy going to work as well! It was such a quick read and I really enjoyed it!
I have to admit, I feel like Shadow & Bone is a typical “Early YA book.” If that makes sense? Like, The Hunger Games and Divergent were great, but there’s no way they can compete with 2018 releases for me and this book was like that as well. It was wonderful and enjoyable and I loved it, but I wasn’t going absolutely crazy over it, either. Maybe that’s just what happens to books that are a bit older since the “hype” has mostly passed?
I loved Shadow & Bone and Leigh Bardugo’s writing from the start. It was fun, easy to understand I flew through the story. I think I loved the book so much because Rakva and the Shadow Fold reminded me so much of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, which is like my all time favourite video game. I could just see this thing because I’d seen it before in Twilight Princess and it was just so cool! Plus, this world has all these Russian influences and I just really like Russia-related things in books. Basically, I am a mess for this world and I so just cannot wait to read more about it!
I loved the magic system in Shadow & Bone, it’s called Small Science and that just made it a bit less magical but a lot more awesome!? I didn’t really understand the names of all these different kind of people, though. There was a list in the front, which just would’ve been so helpful if I had looked at it better! I read it before diving into the story but it didn’t make sense, and while reading, I was just too caught up in the story to check and see what exactly it meant, but it was okay! The context the names/titles were used it made it clear enough and it didn’t bother me that much to really complain about it. Also, I started listening to Six of Cows as well and in that book the meaning of all these terms made much more sense.
I loved Alina as a character, and she had such a cool job! I loved reading from her perspective. I also fell utterly in love with the Darkling, oh my goodness! Like, I probably should hate him but I simply can’t. I was slightly annoyed with Mal if I’m honest. I’m not quite sure why but… I don’t know. I did really love Genya, though! At first, I didn’t know what to think of her and she’s still a bit of a mystery but she’s such a wonderful friend!*
* Don’t judge. I wrote this before reading that other certain book in the trilogy. Oops?!
Overall I really, really, really loved Shadow & Bone and the Grishaverse. I feel like it’ll only get better from now on! Even though some of my thoughts might seem a bit negative, I’ve rated the book four out of five stars.
About Shadow & Bone
Enter the Grishaverse with Book One of the Shadow and Bone Trilogy by the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom.
Soldier. Summoner. Saint. Orphaned and expendable, Alina Starkov is a soldier who knows she may not survive her first trek across the Shadow Fold—a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. But when her regiment is attacked, Alina unleashes dormant magic not even she knew she possessed.
Now Alina will enter a lavish world of royalty and intrigue as she trains with the Grisha, her country’s magical military elite—and falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling. He believes Alina can summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war-ravaged country, but only if she can master her untamed gift.
As the threat to the kingdom mounts and Alina unlocks the secrets of her past, she will make a dangerous discovery that could threaten all she loves and the very future of a nation.
Welcome to Ravka . . . a world of science and superstition where nothing is what it seems.
Have you read any of the Grisha books? What do you think? If you haven’t yet, will you be picking up Shadow & Bone?
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